Simplifying your backpacking adventures
When living out of a backpack on the road for a while, you can quickly become flustered at the realisation that not everything is in your control. Things will happen that are out of your power, and can quickly throw a spanner into your meticulously planned itinerary.
Always be prepared
Anyone who quotes not having plan B life motto clearly has never been stuck in an airport or train station after the last train has left or has had a flight canceled. The phrase, ‘stuck up the creek without a paddle’ springs to mind in these situations, and we want to help you avoid them! This isn’t a “plan everything” post, but more of a “preventative and damage control post” so when things do go wrong, you’re not stuck wishing you had prepared better.
A good old-fashioned notebook
This can act as both an essential, and a keepsake to your travels. But before your travels start, we suggest you jot down the following in a notebook:
- a rough itinerary
- time your train/plane/ride leaves & arrives at each stop (in the time of the country you are arriving into).
- the name of the Hostels you are staying at, their contact info & your booking reference number
Your phone may store all this in the form of notes, pictures and in your emails. But if your phone breaks, gets lost on a pub crawl, or you leave it somewhere, it could be an absolute nightmare keeping track of all your important info. Not only is a notebook a convenient thing to have, its also a great keepsake of your travels. Write down funny or special moments and it’ll be great to go back one day and reflect on your adventures!
Nobody likes turning the light on at 3am in a hostel dorm room, and nobody likes that person. Get yourself a USB chargeable headlamp so you can hands-free locate whatever it is your looking for at some ungodly hour. The headlamp is also handy if you rent a bicycle that doesn’t have bike lights and you’d rather avoid a fine from the police. And finally, it opens up the door for early morning hikes before the sun comes up, or staying on a trail after sunset.
A power bank or portable charger. This suggestion doesn’t need fluffing up or much of an explanation. It’s just handy to have one because you never know when you’ll need it or it can help someone who does. Sharing is caring!
A travel adaptor with built in USB slots is going to come in handy if you need to charge multiple things at once without taking over all the outlets in your room or common area. Pro tip: mark or tag all of your cables and electronic goods that you might use in communal areas, as people can sometimes mistake them for their own.
Hard drive or SD Card
Some form of data storage device is never a bad thing to have with you. You can keep important files such as copies of your passport, health insurance, tickets, and pdfs of your accommodation confirmations. This can also come in handy if you take a digital camera with you and want to back your photos up immediately.
A microfiber towel
These are light, quick drying, packs small, and is a backpacking essential. While some hostels only charge a deposit for towels, others charge a rental fee, so packing a microfiber towel is also a great way to save money on the road. It can also be used as a travel pillow, beach towel, bed divider, and of course, fort walls.
Never, and we mean NEVER, forget to bring earplugs. Getting a good night’s rest is essential for your health and sanity on your travels and there’ll always be that one snorer….
Zero wast traveler
Reusable water bottle
Tap water is safe to drink in most European countries, but you can always check at reception if you want to be sure. Bringing a reusable water bottle will save you money, and you’ll avoid contributing to the plastic problem. We can all do our part to save the planet!
Metal or Bamboo straw
Often times, straws aren’t all that necessary, but they can be convenient and helpful for some, so we urge you to pack a metal or bamboo straw for your travels!
We hope our Backpack Essentials guide will help you avoid any backpacking nightmares on your perfectly planned European adventure! Book your accommodation at Europe’s Famous Hostels for the ultimate backpacker experience! Located in 43 awesome destinations throughout Europe and Israel!